Maggie Messina, pictured above presenting an overall grand championship trophy at the Ocean State Grand Nationals, received two prestigious honors on July 15th. She was awarded the President's Lifetime Achievement Award and was also inducted into the American Martial Arts Alliance Foundation's Hall of Honor. The lifetime achievement award came complete with a letter from President Biden himself, recognizing the incredible service that Messina has done for her community and country over the years. The President's Volunteer Life Time Service Award was established by an executive order from President George W. Bush, and it was presented to only six individuals this year who give hundreds of hours annually through the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The owner of TaeCole Tae Kwon Do and Fitness, as well as a fighting champion in her competitive days, is a household name in the sport karate community for the incredible work she has done in recent years with Female Fighters Matter Too. That campaign has donated thousands of dollars to martial arts tournaments across North America to help provide more opportunities for women and girls in sport martial arts. In fact, the upcoming U.S. Capitol Classics in National Harbor, Maryland will be one of the campaign's largest events yet. The initiative has made the theme of the tournament to celebrate female competitors and additional prize money will be awarded to women and girls of all ages at the event.
In the sport martial arts community, we spend a lot of time criticizing the way things are but we do not often spend enough time giving proper credit to the people who are eliciting positive change. It is a breath of fresh air to see these honors bestowed on Maggie Messina for all of the amazing service she has performed, and it does not need to go unnoticed in the community that she has impacted the most.
Special thanks to theisland360.com for originally reporting this story. Please visit their website to learn more about Messina, her mission, and the incredible work she does for others.